Saturday, June 03, 2017

Just use your common sense...

Curious as to what permanent Trump sycophant and excuse maker Scott Adams had said about the decision to pull out of the Paris Accord, I visited his blog and found that (of course!) he wasn't concerned, and had put up this short explanation of his take on climate change:
Disclosure: My current view on climate science is that the climate scientists are probably right on the basic science, and their climate models are probably directionally right too. But no one has created a credible economic model around climate change. Until you have a long-term economic model that you can trust, you have no way to know what to do about climate change or when to do it. The climate science models don’t tell you any of that. They aren’t designed for that. If you want to make rational decisions about climate change economic risks, you need credible long-term economic models, not climate models.
On a related note, there’s no such thing as a credible long-term economic model. It isn’t a thing.
Well, oddly enough, over the years, I have run some posts expressing similar-ish doubts about economic modelling related to climate change:  you can read some here, here, here, here, here and here.

But the problem with the economic uncertainty and difficulty in modelling it is that the increasingly held  view is that the models may have underestimated the cost of climate change, not over estimated it. 

He seems incapable of understanding the argument that uncertainty is not your friend - it doesn't mean "do nothing", at least when it's on a matter where the parameters of possible change are known.  He seems to accept the broad parameters (or so he says), but then uses the technicality of the uncertainty as to when economic benefits of some global warming will be overcome by the economic negatives to say we can never decide to do anything!

It is clearly a nonsense position to take, and exhibits no common sense.   Does he really think it's a good idea to set in place sea level rises of several metres over the next hundred to two hundred years?  Does he think the idea of New York as New Venice is cool?   Does he think that vastly changed rain patterns and heat waves making current large population areas very difficult to live in may not be a costly and unfortunate result?   Does he have a clue about the uncertain ecological consequences of ocean acidification, more algal blooms and low oxygen in the oceans?   And no, you can't use the notion of "wait and see, and then we'll decide if we have to take action".   It's not that kind of problem - you can't reverse it with a wave of the wand, and geo-engineering is likely to invite its own problems.

Yeah, just shrug you ignorant shoulders, Scott; but you make no common sense.

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